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Thursday, 15 October 1964

Mr CALWELL (MELBOURNE, VICTORIA) - I ask the Minister for

Labour and National Service a question. Has he been informed of the existence of a widespread report that the General Manager of General Motors-Holden's Pty. Ltd. yesterday informed a Press conference that he had no power whatever to negotiate in the dispute between his company and its employees, and that his only function was to report on teletype to America every incident and wait for instructions from Detroit in return? Will the Minister investigate these reports and ascertain whether this company is powerless to seek ways to settle this dispute so as to reduce losses to all those involved and damage to the Australian economy? If the Minister is not anxious to see this dispute prolonged and extended, as is alleged against him by the President of the Australian Council of Trade Unions, Mr. Monk, will he state that the Government is not opposed to a conference between the parties to ascertain whether a settlement can be reached? If he will not take this action, will he explain his reasons?

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